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Biden raised $6.3 million in first 24 hours, campaign says

Democrats criticize Biden over big donors

Former Vice President Joe Biden raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours since announcing he was running for president, according to his campaign. The high number notably edges out Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised around $6 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign, and Beto O'Rourke, who received $6.1 million.

Biden has received some criticism for turning to wealthy donors to help fund his campaign. The former vice president attended a private fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosted by Comcast's chief lobbyist on Thursday evening, just hours after he announced that he was running for president. However, Biden's campaign boasted that 97 percent of donations were under $200 in a campaign email.

The email also said that the campaign had received donations from all 50 states and that the average donation was $41. Approximately 97,000 people contributed to the campaign in the first 24 hours, and 65,000 of those individuals were new donors who did not come from existing email lists.

"We are incredibly heartened by the energy and enthusiasm displayed throughout the country for Joe Biden," said Kate Bedingfield, communications director for the campaign. "It is crystal clear from the last 24 hours that Americans are ready for dignified leadership, someone who can restore the soul of the nation, rebuild the middle class so everyone gets a fair shot and unite the country behind the core values we all believe in. That person is Joe Biden, and today's announcement demonstrates Americans agree."  

Biden started the race at a fundraising disadvantage, since he was unable to raise money during the first quarter of the year like most of the other candidates. However, Biden raised more than all but four of the other candidates in his first 24 hours as a candidate than most did in the entire first quarter.

His campaign is likely to be a fundraising juggernaut to rival that of Sanders, who raised $18 million in the first quarter. However, Biden may be more reliant on wealthy donors than Sanders, whose average donation was $20.

The only other candidates who have raised over $6 million so far are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, O'Rourke and Sanders.